David R. Godschalk, a former Chapel Hill Town Council member and longtime UNC regional planning professor, who died Jan. 27 at age 86, is being remembered for his contributions to the landscape of Chapel Hill and the UNC campus.
Mr. Godschalk was “very, very important in our community,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger during a Wednesday Town Council meeting. “He worked very hard to bring people together to plan for the future,” she said.
Hemminger said Mr. Godschalk was “an amazing community member” who “helped shape the future of our town with his leadership.” Hemminger mentioned his work on the town planning commission and with the town’s 2020 plan.
Mr. Godschalk was a professor for almost 40 years with UNC’s Department of City and Regional Planning, according to an online UNC post. He specialized in land use and environmental planning and “influenced generations of planners and academics,” the post stated. Mr. Godschalk was the Stephen Baxter Professor Emeritus in the planning department.
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He authored many books on urban planning, but perhaps his most notable stamp is his work on the master plan for the UNC campus. Mr. Godschalk and former Chapel Hill Mayor Jonathan Howes authored the book “The Dynamic Decade: Creating the Sustainable Campus for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2011.” The book is a history of the process of upgrading existing building and creating new ones on the campus.
In that role, Mr. Godschalk chaired the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Design and Operations Team for the 2001 Campus Master Plan.
His books include the text “Urban Land Use Planning,” which has been updated in several editions, “Searching for the Sweet Spot: A Planner’s Memoir,” “Natural Hazard Mitigation: Recasting Disaster Policy And Planning” and “Sustainable Development Projects: Integrated Design, Development, and Regulation.”
A memorial gathering is planned for Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill.
UNC also plans to have a symposium in the early fall to honor his academic contributions. Details will be announced later.